Did Peary Really Reach The North Pole?

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Explorer's polar trek under way

The explorer will try to beat the 37-day 'record'
An explorer attempting to retrace a 1909 trek to the geographic North Pole has set out from Canada. Tom Avery, 29, of Ticehurst, East Sussex, is leading a team aiming to prove whether US naval commander Robert Peary reached the pole in 37 days.

Peary's journey was later disputed. Mr Avery is using wooden sleds and equipment of the period to find whether the 37-day feat was possible.

He has said it was an attempt to solve polar exploration's "greatest mystery".


"We still don't know who was the first person to stand on top of the world. If we can settle that, hopefully that can restore one of the great characters of polar exploration," Mr Avery said, before his expedition.

Peary, who was 54 when he made his trip to the geographic North Pole, had lost his toes from frostbite on an earlier expedition.

The team members are taking the London 2012 Olympic bid flag with them to help promote the capital's chances of hosting the games.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/sout ... 365931.stm
 
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An article about Peary's co-explorer Matthew Henson.

Matthew Henson was one of the era’s few African-American explorers, and he may have been the first man, black or white, to reach the North Pole.

His grueling adventures alongside U.S. Navy engineer Robert E. Peary are chronicled in these dramatic early photos. Henson was born in 1866, on August 8. At age 13, as an orphan, he became a cabin boy on a ship, where the vessel’s captain taught him to read and write. Henson was working as a store clerk in Washington, D.C. in 1887 when he met Peary. Peary hired him as a valet, and the two began a long working relationship that spanned half a dozen epic voyages over two decades.

In 1900 Henson and Peary went farther north than anyone else had before. Later they broke their own record. The pair explored Greenland and possibly made it to the North Pole in 1909, accompanied by four Inuit men. Although it’s been difficult to confirm, Henson believed he was the first person to make it to the pole.

"I can't get along without him," Peary said of Henson, who was an expert dog-sledder, hunter, craftsman, and navigator who even became fluent in Inuit. After his exploring days Henson worked as an official in the U.S. Customs House in New York City. He died in 1955.

For nearly a century, Henson’s contributions to polar explorations were downplayed in favor of Peary. But in 2000, Henson was posthumously awarded National Geographic’s highest honor for exploration, the Hubbard Medal.

In 1988, Henson and his wife were reinterred at the Arlington National Cemetery, alongside Peary. In 1996, an oceanographic survey ship was named the U.S.N.S Henson in his honor.

https://news.nationalgeographic.com...ditorial::add=History_20190204::rid=641112160
 
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